15-Day Countdown to Change in the ITTF's Presidency

By Sheri Cioroslan | Aug. 17, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

Day 15, August 17 - Jane Pinto Has Been Mentored by Adham Sharara since 1996

“What set Adham Sharara apart from the others was his belief in Table Tennis.”

Jane Pinto

How did you get involved in Table Tennis?

I married into a Table Tennis family.  In 1973, on my first visit to China, I accompanied four playing members of the Pinto family, which encouraged me to take up the sport.

What do you think it will take for TT to be in the TOP 5 IN ALL WE DO?

Increase the television screening of Table Tennis. Distribute tables to all schools. Since table tennis is the national sport in China, and they have dominated the game for 30 years, with the help of the Government authorities, it would be favourable for a Chinese coach to be recruited in various countries.        

Can you comment on the special ties you have with ITTF President Adham Sharara?

When Adham visited Kenya in 1996, I struck up an acquaintance with him and he has been my mentor ever since.  What set Adham Sharara apart from the others was his belief in Table Tennis.  He listened with care and concern.

What do you think have been Adham’s most meaningful contributions to the sport/the ITTF?

Adham has devoted so much time to Table Tennis and we appreciate that he gave us the gift of himself and his time. 

He has encouraged slum children to take up TT in order to keep them off the streets and out of drugs and crime.  I would like to express how much I personally appreciate what he has done. By his effort, TT has grown from strength to strength. 

Adham was also instrumental in organizing various championships in different parts of the world.  As a result he increased the attendance and we have met other players.  It was through his initiative and hard work that Table Tennis has received greater recognition as an Olympic sport.

Thank you, Jane.  President Sharara has added some recollections about your interactions.

"Mama Jane" as she is known in Nairobi, is really a mother to all the Kenyan TT family. If you want to learn about hospitality, or if you want to experience the best hospitality in the World, then you must visit Mama Jane and her husband Felix in Nairobi. They are the most hospitable people in the world. Of course Jane and her family have a very successful Safari business that has received numerous awards over the years. In fact, it is ranked as the #1 Safari experience in the World. Why? Because it is run by the Pinto family. What amazes me, is that in the 100-page glossy colour catalogue and brochure for Micato Safari, it is mentioned in the introduction, and in many parts of this glossy publication, that Jane is a table tennis player and fan. This is amazing. It would seem that table tennis is the priority. 

When I arrive at World Championships I am always very stressed the first day due to the many pressures and demands. Then I see Jane and Felix. Jane's smile has a soothing effect, and because she is smiling, I know all will be OK. My stress dissolves and I know we will have a great event.

Thank you, President Sharara.